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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 25, 2010

Consumers urged to practice safe investing

 •  10 Investor Protection Tips for 2010

By Robbie Dingeman

State financial watchdogs would like consumers to celebrate America Saves Week by practicing safe investing.

Sure, there's less chocolate than Valentine's Day and no green beer like St. Patrick's Day, but it's a holiday celebration that your accountant would endorse.

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Office of the Securities Commissioner is joining various government and financial agencies nationwide to raise awareness about savings during the campaign, which runs Feb. 21 to 28.

Hawai'i securities commissioner Tung Chan encourages Hawai'i residents to take the time to learn more about saving, investing and safeguarding assets from investment fraud.

"In 2010, saving and investing for the future continues to be critical, and protecting ourselves from fraud is on all of our minds," Chan said.

"America Saves Week is a great time for investors to remember to re-evaluate or develop a personal financial plan that meets each investor's specific financial needs."

That means setting goals and objectives and making moves consistent with that plan, she said.

As part of America Saves Week, state consumer officials will have an information display on the second floor of the King Kalakaua Building, at 335 Merchant St.

Free investor education materials will be available.

For information by phone, contact the Hawai'i Office of the Securities Commissioner at 587-7400 for investor protection tips.

If you have been a victim of investment fraud, Chan wants you to call her office toll-free at 877-HI SCAMS or visit the Web site at www.investing.hawaii.gov to report it.

The Office of the Securities Commissioner is joining the sponsor of America Saves Week, the Consumer Federation of America, this week to promote savings.

Other partners include the North American Securities Administrators Association Federal Reserve Bank, United Way of America and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Curious about consumer issues or have a tip to share? Reach Robbie Dingeman at 535-2429.